Andaman and Nicobar Islands get fast internet: PM Modi inaugurates submarine OFC connectivity between Chennai and Port Blair

PM Modi inaugurated submarine optical fibre cable connecting Chennai with Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Image: Screengrab from Inauguration video on BJP's Youtube channel)

PM Modi on 10th August inaugurated the much-awaited Submarine Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) between Chennai and Port Blair via video conferencing. The foundation of the project was laid down in December 2018 by PM Modi to ensure high-speed internet connectivity for the residents of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

While remembering the Islands’ importance in Independence movement and it’s relations to Neta Ji Subhash Chandra Bose, PM Modi talked about how this Submarine OFC and other projects will help in boosting the economy in the Islands.

In his speech, PM Modi said that he was pleased to launch the project in 2018, and now he is happy that he got the chance to inaugurate it as well. This OFC will connect Chennai, Port Blair, Little Andaman and Swaraj Island. He added that it is an early 15 August gift for the people of Andaman and Nicobar as this project will open new doors to opportunities.

Project completed ahead of time

The project has been completed before its scheduled time. A total of 2,300 KM cable was laid down to connect the important parts of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the first phase of the project, at the cost of Rs 1224 crores. The other areas of the Island will soon get connected to the fibre optics network. There were numerous challenges like monsoon season, high tides and deep-sea that made the project challenging. PM Modi said that these reasons did not allow the previous governments to find ways to connect the Island with high-speed internet facility like the rest of the country.

He thanked the dedicated team that worked tirelessly on the project and completed it in before the scheduled time despite the coronavirus pandemic. He said that it was the responsibility of the nation to provide such service to the people of Andaman and Nicobar. In the last few years, India has been working extensively in strengthening the border areas and ports. This project is a symbol of Modi government’s promise of ease of living, he added.

Better internet connectivity will improve tourism on the Islands

“India is a global leader in providing cheap and fast internet services. Now the people of Andaman and Nicobar Islands will be able to enjoy these services, PM Modo also added that better connectivity is essential for tourist destinations. Tourists often leave early keeping lack of fast connectivity in mind. Now, as they will get fast internet services while enjoying their holidays, they will stay for a longer duration that will help in improving the tourism on the Islands.

Improved road, air and sea connectivity

PM Modi said that the government is working to solve road, air and sea connectivity issues as well. A 10,000 crore worth transhipment project that is underway on the Islands will allow large ships to stop on the Islands. It will help in improving the economy of the Island and provide more opportunities for the people there. The government is working on improving road connectivity on the Islands and widening the NH4 as well. PM said that the four ships that are being built at Cochi shipyard to improve Water Connectivity between the Islands and the rest of the country will be delivered soon.

The airport at Port Blair will soon be able to handle 1200 passengers at a time. The aviation ministry will start sea-place services to connect Islands in the cluster that will reduce commute time between two locations. In the next few months, smaller airports will start operations across Islands that will improve the connectivity with the rest of the nation. The work on the deep draft inner harbour on the East Coast will be completed soon. Pm Modi said that the government is working on promoting ease of business and maritime logistics in the sea.

The Blue Economy

PM Modi said that these modern infrastructure projects are essential for the Blue Economy as well that covers fisheries, aquaculture and sea-weed farming. Several countries are exploring possibilities in sea-weed farming. He informed that the pilot project in this area that was started in Andaman and Nicobar Islands showed a positive response and the government would soon implement it across Islands. Once they prove to be a success, it will be implemented in the rest of the country.

Stay safe during coronavirus pandemic

PM Modi said that though new opportunities are opening, it is essential that everyone on the Islands should take all the precautions to keep themselves safe during the pandemic. He added that it is essential to wear masks and practice social distancing to avoid infection. 

OpIndia Staff: Staff reporter at OpIndia